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This video outlines most of the steps taken to create the second version of the Rechargeable Solar Powered LED Lamp in which I outline my influence that came from my trip to Nigeria with ACRT (AIDs Crisis Response Team) and the research I did upon return. I was especially influenced by the books Design Like You Give A Damn and Design For The Other 90%. The first book is made by architecture for humanity which describes the purpose of the projects/book:

"The greatest humanitarian challenge we face today is that of providing shelter. Currently one in seven people lives in a slum or refugee camp, and more than three billion people—nearly half the world's population—do not have access to clean water or adequate sanitation. The physical design of our homes, neighborhoods, and communities shapes every aspect of our lives. Yet too often architects are desperately needed in the places where they can least be afforded."

The authors of Design For The Other 90%, Cooper-Hewitt, describes the meaning of their publication as:

“The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.”
—Dr. Paul Polak, International Development Enterprises

The reading of these two books really got me thinking about the global impact of design and the social inequalities that exist which are rarely being exposed in as complex and explicit terms as they are in these publications. Even though the idea of helping the internationally "less fortunate" is in the mainstream media, it is not presented in a way that allows the "average" citizen to take direct action, other than sending money.

I have also had an interest in Open Source technology and ideologies. This includes component electronics like cheap and easily accessible LEDs and batteries. This also brougth me to the Arduino as I described in the Rechargeable Solar Powered LED Lamp project.

"All of this research also led me to use the Lilypad Arduino, which uses waterproof circuitry and conductive thread in order to create simple/repairable/waterproof/wearable circuits, which also encourage young children and women to get involved in electronics, especially in the type of “traditional” societies I was working in in Nigeria."

I then began the work on the bag in order to improve on the design of the lamp in order to create the more versatile bag. The bag can be worn during the day to charge the battery and used during the night. Each element can also be removed and repaired if needed.

stephensurlin.com

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